Why I think Ralph Waldo Emerson Is A Rockstar!


There are very few writers that I am personally an awe of and who in my opinion have Rockstar qualities. Emerson is one of them. He was a free-thinker, a transcendentalist, a rebel-artist, a freedom fighter, a visionary of the future, a symbol of hope, a great mentor, and last, but not least an inspiration to many.

Is he cool or what? Not only did he find time to mentor Walt Whitman. Yes, you read it correctly! Whitman sent his collection of poetry” Leaves of Grass” to Emerson for him to review it, before publishing. Emerson was a freedom fighter. He was openly against slavery, and he used his craft to provoke thought against slavery.  Emerson in my opinion lived a remarkable life. He was a beacon of hope to those who had none. He himself was no stranger to despair. Emerson lost three siblings and his father at an early age, and to top it all off two years after marrying his first wife she dies! And later-on his son dies as well. Talk about tragedy!

You would think this would make him bitter, or hold a grudge against the world, but no! Not Emerson! He turned his darkness, into a beacon of hope. One of the most beautiful lines in his poem “Give All to Love” in my opinion is: “Hope beyond Hope.” Such a powerful phrase. He simply was a Rockstar! He did not sulk, pout, or become a drunken poet, nope! Not Emerson! He did not dwell in his sorrow. He took his sorrow and turned it into something positive. Or like I like to say he had a Pan’s Labyrinth moment, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I recommend you see it. A brilliantly written screenplay, influenced by classical literature characters. It picked up a few Academy awards among them- best Cinematography in 2007. It’s one of my favorite movies. So, why do I say Emerson had a Pan’s Labyrinth moment? Well, because out of his darkest moment, he found his strength. Emerson found a purpose to his life. He gave hope to those who had none, and with this reflection, I conclude my blog entry with one of my favorite poems from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Give All To Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit, and the muse;
Nothing refuse.

‘Tis a brave master,
Let it have scope,
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope;
High and more high,
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But ’tis a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
‘Tis not for the mean,
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending;
Such ’twill reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;—
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, for ever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
Vague shadow of surmise,
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free,
Do not thou detain a hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Tho’ her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive,
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.


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